A bitter cold snap gripping much of British Columbia’s south coast, central and northeast regions is being compounded by strong winds in some southern areas and snow in the central Interior. A woman walks through a snow covered plaza in downtown Vancouver, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Arctic chill grips much of B.C.; strong winds cause outages on south coast

BC Hydro reports more than 19,000 customers were without electricity overnight

A bitter cold snap gripping much of British Columbia’s south coast, central and northeast regions is being compounded by strong winds in some southern areas and snow in the Central Interior.

Environment Canada is maintaining special weather statements from Metro Vancouver, east to the central Rockies and north to the Peace region as a blast of arctic air plunges Interior temperatures as low as -25 C.

The inner south coast is milder but the frigid air, along with winds packing gusts up to 90 km/h, have created conditions that feel close to -10 C, and those winds are also sweeping across Victoria and the southern Gulf Islands.

BC Hydro reports more than 19,000 customers were without electricity overnight across Metro Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast and southern Vancouver Island, although the utility estimated power would be restored to most areas through the day.

Outages prompted the North Vancouver School District to delay openings at 12 public schools until 11 a.m.

The storm also dumped as much as 15 centimetres of snow in the Chilcotin region.

The weather office says the wind and snow will ease in all areas, although it warns the icy arctic chill will hover and deepen over the province for the rest of the week.

READ MORE: November snowfall hits parts of the Lower Mainland

READ MORE: Wind gusts up to 90 km/h on way to Lower Mainland

The Canadian Press


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